Veterans in the Fairfield County area have a new ally in Douglas Rosinski, an attorney who recently joined the Mike Kinely Law Group in Winnsboro. Rosinski is the senior adviser to the group on veteran’s issues with over ten years of experience in veteran’s law.
Rosinski said he often helps veterans who appeal applications to the Veterans Administration if they have been turned down. The appeals process more closely resembles the court system.
Many veterans appeal an initial decision without a lawyer and then later try to get a lawyer involved and it can be difficult to fix at that point. There is more law in the VA than in NASA and nuclear regulatory law combined.
“This is a relatively new area of law because until 1989 veterans were not allowed to take this type of case into court. From a lawyer’s perspective, you face legal issues that have never been faced before, and you also get to help a lot of good people,” Rosinski said.
Veteran’s lawyers work on contingency, meaning if the client does not win a case that the lawyer does not get paid.
“If we do it right the first time, it saves the veteran or the family of a veteran years of benefits, including retroactive benefits,” he said.
If a legal team to start over with a case, though, he said the retroactive benefits could be in jeopardy.
His background before becoming a lawyer included a stint in the navy as a nuclear engineer running submarines. Rosinski completed his tour in the Navy and then applied the nuclear physics background to help start up nuclear power plants and wound up working at the Savannah River Site with the Department of Energy.
While working with the federal government, he became interested in law and attended law school at the University of South Carolina.
He then spent eight years in Washington, D.C. working with nuclear energy law. During that time he took on some pro bono work as an associate helping veterans with court appeals.
During that work, he found his calling. In late 2005 he returned to Columbia and worked for the Ogletree law firm for about six years, but his practice continued to move in the direction of serving veterans so he left that firm.
When he learned of Mike Kelly’s interest in veteran’s law the two of them combined their shared passion and experience with that of a lawyer from California and developed a practice specializing in veteran’s law.
Rosinski and Kelly started the Veteran’s Justice Group, LLC, an organization used for specific veteran’s issues.
“This gives us a national footprint in veteran’s areas. We can bring veterans the right level of local service and have experience at the D.C. level, too,” Rosinski said. “We have the experience, tools, techniques and practice that allow us to make better arguments on behalf of our clients.”
He said one area of success involves getting righteous claims awarded as reasonably as possible.
We can help the VA because we know what kind of information and how to present it so the VA has the best possible opportunity to move on a pending case,” he said.
He constantly reviews the latest court decisions to stay up on this new area of law and said he is glad to do consultations with area veterans to help them choose between using the free assistance of Veteran’s Service Officers versus seeking legal counsel.
“We encourage anyone, especially family members to apply for VA benefits. You have earned the benefit and it will help your family members going forward should you become disabled or ill, he said. Please give us, or someone else a call to see if your benefits and health care are worth trying appeals for,” he said. “We’d be glad to help assist you.”
Commenting on the addition of Rosinski, Managing Partner Mike Kelly said, “The Mike Kelly Law Group was founded on the principle of representing any South Carolinian needing legal representation to right a wrong. Doug’s experience in representing the rights of veterans, individuals who have risked their lives in defense of our country, makes him a perfect complement to our team and a welcome resource for our clients.”
Added Kelly, “Our goal is to become a national resource for any veteran who needs focused insight into the laws and regulations governing veterans’ disability benefits and other related issues.”
Rosinski has 15 years of experience in private legal practice in South Carolina, Georgia, and Washington, D.C. He also served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he developed and taught one of the first veterans’ advocacy courses in the country.